Many people will tell you that getting an air conditioning system was one of the best investments they made for their home.

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Having a good air conditioning system in your home not only cools down your living space during those sweltering summer days, but it will also ensure the air flowing through your home is regulated properly so you have clean airflow.

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However, the operating costs of owning an air conditioning system can add up quickly. In addition to having to pay for maintenance of your device and replacement air filters, you’ll need to acknowledge that by using an air conditioner in your home, your electricity bills are bound to rise. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can minimize your air conditioning bills while you continue to make the most of your investment. Here are some ideas:

Keep Your Windows Covered

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We all know that there is no point in having the air conditioner on while the windows open, but did you know that about 75% of sunlight entering your home comes in the form of heat? With so much extra heat coming into your home, the air conditioning system needs to work harder to keep things cool.

Using mesh covers or solar screens are good ways to intercept this energy before it enters the home. These types of devices are very effective, especially on east and west-facing windows. If possible, install these devices on the outside of the window, as this stops the solar energy before it has a chance to get through the glass. Window films are another cost-effective alternative as the metal sheets reflect the heat before it’s transmitted through the glass to enter the property.

Plant Trees Around Your House

Another alternative to window shades is the use of leafy trees. Having big trees outside your home can have a significant impact when it comes to blocking the sun and keeping your home cooler.

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Bear in mind that the heat the accumulates in your house comes directly from the sunlight shining directly through windows or onto the roof and warming the house. However, it’s not just a case of planting trees all over. The placement of these trees on the south, west and east sides of the property will make the greatest difference.

Buying mature trees, planting them, keeping up with maintenance can be quite expensive, but they’ll be a worthwhile investment if they are planted in the right place, and you’ll easily make your money back with the savings on your air conditioning costs. Not only will the trees help reduce energy bills, but they also add value to your property, which will work in your favour should you ever choose to sell your home.

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home By Sealing Any Cracks

If draughts pass easily through your home, it is a sign of energy inefficiency. Do a visual check both inside and outside your home to pinpoint any cracks or openings where air can move in and out. Naturally, you should also check the windows and doors, but there are other less obvious places that are prone to leaks. It’s important to check the building’s foundations as well as its exterior brickwork.

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You can also hire a professional technician to carry out an energy audit on your home. They’ll be able to provide you with a thorough assessment highlighting any energy-inefficient leaks that you may not be able to see at first glance. Moreover, they can advise you on whether you need to improve insulation on the property as well.

Regularly Service Your Air Conditioner

When purchasing your air conditioner, one of the most important aspects you should be looking at is the machine’s MERV rating. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value indicates how energy efficient the device is at filtering air. An inefficient air conditioner simply raises the cost of your energy bill.

Regardless of the air conditioner you choose or inherit when moving into a property, maintaining the device is also important with regard to energy efficiency. If the air filter becomes clogged with dust and grime, the unit needs to work twice as hard to get the air flowing. At a minimum, you should clean or replace the filter every month during the summer. You may need to replace these more often if you have furry pets in the house.

old house exterior with air conditioning units on walls
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Another thing worth considering is the state of the coils in the evaporator and condenser, which also collect dirt over time and require periodic cleaning. As the outside condenser is prone to trapping leaves, twigs and other natural debris it’s wise to keep plants and trees close to the sun trimmed. Furthermore, it’s wise to get the unit serviced by a professional service technician from time to time as they’ll be able to check hard to reach elements of the system and assess whether it needs a tune-up.

Consider Ceiling Fans

Installing ceiling fans is a great alternative to an air conditioner. Having fans on the upper level and opening your downstairs windows is a good way to ensure the circulation of air inside the house. It may not cool your home as quickly as an air conditioner, but if used properly, fans can work really well. Even if you already have an air conditioning system, adding ceiling fans offers you an alternative for days that aren’t as hot or when you prefer to keep windows open.

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Installing an air conditioner in your home has the potential to make life a lot more comfortable for you and your family. However, running an air conditioner also has the potential to increase your energy bills quite substantially. Armed with the right knowledge, it is possible to use an air conditioner in a way that minimizes energy usage and ensures that the machine is operating at the optimal level. Just making a few simple changes and ensuring that the air conditioner is well maintained can save you a lot of money over time.